USER (19Apr06): Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, Tuesday 18 April 2006
Flying Music presents: Dancing in the Streets
The Motown music experience hit town and caused quite a sensation last night at the Alex. The focus is quite rightly on the artists and their songs and the show takes on a concert presentation that works effectively.
The show is hosted by the amiable MC Johnny Amobi who establishes a great relationship with the audience right from the start. He also performs during the evening and has a great patter with the ladies in the audience. He gives some introductions and background to the songs and the artists who performed them although those in last night’s audience seemed to know all of the songs and were quickly joining in. The show attracted a wide range of ages possibly due to the Easter break and is a real family show.
The energetic cast of 12 plus a lively band of seven musicians performed their hearts out singing and dancing and creating an electric atmosphere. The artists featured by them included Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Edwin Starr, etc. The songs included many of the most well known Motown hits including ‘Mr Postman’, ‘You Better Shop Around’, ‘Jimmy Mack’, ‘My Girl’, ‘Tears of a Clown’, ‘What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted’, ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’, ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ and a super version of “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder and a haunting harmonica solo from Musical Director Matt Smith. The finale had many in the audience on their feet with some dancing in the aisles to “Dancing in the Streets”.
I could not fault the production for it’s 100% enthusiasm or it’s costumes or sets but did find some of the lighting too repetitive and at one point the spotlighting left one performer in the dark to sing whilst highlighting another artist. The Tuesday night audience was not huge and this is a show well worth seeing and hearing so there is still time to catch it at The Alex until Saturday 22 April. Well worth a visit!